Classic lateral thinking puzzles with new twists – multiple original solutions – provocative clues – and a reader challenge to submit your own original answers

31. Puzzling Rice.

A man buys enormous quantities of rice for $1 a pound, sells it to the poor for 10 cents a pound, and becomes a millionaire.


     Clue – More people should try this.

“I’ll feed the world’s poor”


     Answer – He started as a billionaire.

Muxy’s Answer – His kindness gets noticed, drawing many customers to his business

     What’s Your Answer? – (Scroll to the bottom of the page to leave your answer in the comments section and PLEASE “like” this page and subscribe to my blog)

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Why do we need disruption to the way we think?

Check out:

Blinkered thinking

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32. A very brave man.

A man marries ten wives, but he’s not a polygamist. All the wives are very happy.


     Clue – He is a person held in very high regard.

“We do”


     Answer – The man is a priest.

Muxy’s Answer – The very rich man also divorced each wife entitling them to a lot of money.

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Here are some helpful pages to assist you on your creative journey:

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33.  Bang!

A man fires his huge gun and soon realizes that it was a huge mistake.

He will almost certainly die soon.

How does he die if he isn’t shot?

     Clue – It was a big gun.

“I should have thought that through”


     Answer – He starts an avalanche.

Muxy’s Answer – The man shot the popular leader of a group of gangsters.

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Lateral thinking is the deliberate breaking of the shackles that inhibit creative and original thinking

To understand exactly what lateral thinking is …

Check out these creative definitions

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34. Guilty, but …

An unscrupulous man commits inexcusable murder.

He is rightfully convicted.

However, he doesn’t go to jail because it would be an injustice to do so.


     Clue – In a way, this man is “confined” already.

“No jail for you, but …”


     Answer – The man is a Siamese twin.

Muxy’s Answer – The man is part of the first colony to Mars. There isn’t space, resources, or opportunity to build a jail. It would be an injustice to risk the lives of others to invest the resources to return him to Earth to face a jail sentence.

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Evolve your thinking:

Free Lateral Thinking Lessons

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35.  Puzzling Death.

A man is dead in a locked (from the inside) empty room. He has been stabbed in the chest, but there is no weapon to be found?

     Clue – There is a watermark on the floor.

“We found him in this locked and empty room”


     Answer – The man stabbed himself with an icicle.

Muxy’s Answer – An icicle formed high in the damp rafters and broke off when the room temperature started to rise while the man was asleep below.

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The world of creative thinking is about to take off …

Lateral thinking fiction

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36.  Man Overboard

A man who cannot swim at all falls overboard without a life preserver or anything else to assist him.

Several hours later, the ship returns and finds the man.

How is it he didn’t drown?

     Clue – He doesn’t need to swim.

“You are coming back … yes?”


     Answer – He was in the dead sea. The water salinity kept him floating without needing to swim.

Muxy’s Answer – He died on impact hitting the water.

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If you haven’t done so yet, take a quick look at the book blurb for my soon-to-be-released lateral thinking fiction novel …

“We should never have trusted the aliens”

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37. One-Way

A truck driver going south on a one-way street that goes north is spotted by a police officer.

How is it that he doesn’t get a ticket?

     Clue – The truckie was never concerned.

“Who said that size doesn’t matter”


     Answer – The truck driver was walking on the footpath.

Muxy’s Answer – They’re related LOL

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Take inspiration from these:

Real-life Lateral Thinking Examples

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38. What did you buy?

You walk into a hardware store, see what it is that you were looking for, and ask the sales assistant about the prices.

You:          ‘How much for one?’

Assistant:  ‘Five dollars’

You:          ‘How much for sixteen?’

Assistant:  ‘Ten dollars’

You:          ‘How much for one hundred?’

Assistant:  ‘Fifteen dollars’

What are you buying?

     Clue – The second and third quotes might be expected

“Duh. I should have paid more attention in school”


     Answer – You are buying house numbers to display on your front fence

Muxy’s Answer – They’re not quantities, they’re stock inventory numbers.

     What’s Your Answer? – (Scroll to the bottom of the page to leave your answer in the comments section and PLEASE “like” this page and subscribe to my blog)

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“If you never change your mind, why have one?”

 – Edward de Bono

A collection of powerful quotes to inspire your creative journey

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39. Strange transaction

A lady walks up to a counter and hands the man behind it a book. The man says …

“That will be $5, please.”

The woman pays the man $5 but deliberately leaves without the book. Why?

     Clue – The woman was right to pay

“I’m not a kangaroo lady. What sort of money is that?”


     Answer – The woman was at a library. She paid an overdue fine.

Muxy’s Answer – The woman was at the post office. The book was wrapped and addressed to send. The cost of sending the book by mail was $5.

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Go back to: New puzzles 1 to 12

Go back to: Classic puzzles 1 to 10

Go back to: Classic puzzles 11 to 20

Go back to: Classic puzzles 21 to 30

OR … keep going!

Brainteasing puzzles for kids

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Check out the concise definition: What is lateral thinking?

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Activities for children that teach creativity

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Submit your original answers for consideration here: